I recently received this tea as a free sample from Tea from Taiwan. So thanks for the opportunity to try it!
I realized I forgot to do my exhale-inhale scenting of the leaves! I think I was so wrapped up in figuring out how to brew it. Tea from Taiwain doesn’t give very exact instructions, so I googled for others and found a thread on TeaChat where people were posting how they brewed Taiwanese high mountain oolongs. I read a number of posts and was intrigued by a method in which they had no rinse, a long first steep (90 seconds), then dropped back to 30 seconds and built from there. I sometimes feel like I am washing away some of the delicious stuff with the rinse, plus I often like the first steep best, so I decided to try this method on this sample. I used all 7g in my 6oz teapot, and approximately 200°F water, which people also suggested.
Underneath the lid, smells floral and buttery, and that is present in spades in the scent of the liquor, which is just barely colored enough to look different than the light green of my ru kiln pot. It smells amazing, incredibly buttery and even a bit cookie-ish. The flavor is interesting, more like asparagus or snap peas than I expected, with a buttery undertone. Definitely like crisp, blanched veggies.
I can’t say that I believed a 30 second steep after a 90 second steep would be very strong, but even just looking at the liquor, it is a much brighter green. The flavor is pretty similar, though with ever so slight floral notes this time. And a subsequent steep at 1 minute was basically the same, but also getting more green and less buttery. Then I stopped steeping it because I kind of lost interest.
This tea was pretty good but not really my style, as I am realizing that many Taiwanese high mountain oolongs are not quite my style. Very light and fresh, and it smelled amazing, but too much vegetable in the flavor and not quite enough butter or florals. Still I appreciate the chance to taste this tea!